Author's Note: November continues Part 2 of Morteza’s saga. I know his story is not getting any easier. He is still in thick fog. Like him, I’m hoping for a clearing wind. Until it comes, Morteza hears many voices in the fog, including his own.
It was not just Morteza who cried out. Many voices rose in futile protest while the bloated king sat in self-admiration in his mirror-filled room, plotting, scheming, bellowing out boasts, a nightmare combination of rat-cunning and vanity, while fog, carrying poisonous toxicity, made an insidious way through the entire city. It wound past the manicured lawns of the who-gives-a-shit grifters. It dispersed into potholed suburbs where deserted factories with broken windows cried out against abandonment. It whispered promises of restored privilege. It sung of entitlement and revenge. It celebrated division, greed and hate. Morteza believed in the cleansing wind, the knowledge that one fine day a fair breeze would blow the fog away. What he feared was lingering toxicity rendering his loved city into the likeness of a bed-ridden patient whose vitality has evaporated and whose sole remaining joy lies in raising the flag of long gone glory as each successive day fades further into enfeebled diminishment.
Morteza dreamt of a house with golden doors open wide, liberty written on its walls and equality glowing inside. Then he saw smiling thieves in tailored suits and ties, deceitful intent glibly oiled by well-practiced lies. They stole the shining treasure, stripped the jeweled beams, carried off the golden orbs that lit the House of Dreams. They left the merest shadow, a painted, empty facade, and everything they spewed out was stained deceptive fraud. Then he awoke drenched from the horror he had seen. Blood was oozing through the door of the ruined House of Dreams.
First published as “The Dream Thieves” in Guy Farmer’s Social Justice Poetry.
The New King Speaks
You who with me rule, listen: Shed no tears for the dead and dying. There is no money in that. Think not upon the future. Take your profit now. Poverty and inequality are always with us. Your wealth is yours alone. Come. I set you free. Accept liberty. Insularity is security, honesty a mere commodity. Gather to yourself beautiful wealth. Go forth. Exploit, exploit, exploit.
Adapted from a poem first published at Rat's Ass Review
©2020 Neil Creighton
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